Do I need mobile insurance after I buy my cell phone? This is a frequently asked question. The short answer is, “Only if you want the peace of mind that comes with extra protection.” Having mobile phone protection can keep you from paying large medical bills and repair costs after an accident. Here’s how this works.

AT&T Protect Plan: The AT&T Protect Plan covers mobile phones, tablets, and other pre-paid devices used by individuals and their families. When you purchased your mobile phone, the device was covered under your cellular service plan, typically a contract, usually for a specific monthly payment. Today, that plan includes wireless devices and, most likely, the same deductible that covered your landline phone plan.

You are still covered under your service contract, just with a higher deductible. The cost of your premiums and the deductible will vary by plan. Plans include mobile phones, standard batteries, and even laptop computers. If you have a standard model phone, such as a Blackberry or an iPhone, it probably won’t be covered under any mobile insurance plans. The cost will depend on the manufacturer and the condition of your device.

Home Contents Insurance Policy: Similar to most home insurance policies, a home contents insurance policy covers the contents of your home, similar to your home insurance policy. However, a mobile phone insurance policy protects your mobile phone, laptop computer, or other electronic devices. Items covered include personal property, cash, jewellery, photos and videos, computers or gaming systems, appliances, GPS systems, watches, musical instruments, luxury clothing, travel tickets and more. Exclusions may apply, so be sure to read the policy closely.

Water Damage and Theft Protection: If you own any electronic device, such as mobile phones, PDAs, laptops, digital cameras or other gadgets, you need to get comprehensive home or outdoor, water damage and theft protection. In addition to protecting your devices from theft, water damage and fires, a mobile phone insurance policy will also provide coverage for water damage caused by accidental spills or leaks. A cracked screen? You’ll be covered.

Other Services: Most insurance plans provide extended warranties, similar to cell phone contracts, that cover accidental damage, malfunction or loss of use. Most of these services include repairs or replacement of parts, repair fees for using the device. Others may offer extended coverage for replacement or repair of parts. Health related services include annual physical exams and prescriptions. If you have a chronic condition, your health insurance plans will likely cover at least part of the costs of care.

Coverage for unauthorized repairs: As an owner of a mobile device, you must understand that accidental damage or malfunctioning is part of the service package. This means that the device, in order to function normally, will need to be repaired. The good news is that most of these unauthorized repairs can be done at home. Whether your phone is new or old, all it takes is a little work to turn your phone back on and get it running as good as new again.

The first step in getting mobile network phone insurance is to make sure you have actually purchased the phone you are looking at. Don’t let the retailer tell you otherwise; they won’t offer you the same protection when you have an older phone as when you buy a new one. If you have purchased a new handset, or are going to buy one soon, contact your mobile insurance provider and find out what kind of plan they have for phones that were previously owned.

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